Sunday, November 7, 2010

Letter #41 - November 1, 2010


Well, I'm going to start out by my week:


Okay, so we had written a family home evening calender that we had passed around for people to write on and different members wrote on it and were supposed to bring a friend. Anyways, tonight, these two woman had written their names on it (they're neighbors and are always together). Anyways, they had invited two of their friends, so there was four of them in total. They are probably around the 50-60 age range and so we basically just chatted for like an hour. I thought it was great fun, I think people that age are super interesting to talk to because everyone just talks and talks and disagrees and talks and nothing ever gets accomplished other than people got to put their two bits in on one another. I thought we were going to be there for hours but the person whose house we were in pretty much just interrupted someone in midsentance and was like 'okay well that was fun, now we're going to have a closing prayer'. After that, we got some food and pop and left. I thought it was great fun.


Today we had District Meeting, and I still have not recieved a package. Although tomorrow is Tuesday and it's possible that I recive one tomorrow. I don't really like how that works out but whatever, it doesn't make much of a difference in the long run. Anyways, so all the missionaries in the city of Salto are in the zone of Salto, and there's two zone leaders. They also have all of us divided into like 4 groups called districts, and each of us have a district leader. Since today was our first district meeting since changes, I got put in my district with some other companionships. I ended up being in a guy named Elder Wade's district. I think he's super cool, his dad was actually a mission president in Paraguay. He's really good at soccer too, because he played quite a bit before the mission. Today while working we spent a good while looking for a particular house. The bishop makes sure that we have 5 sheets with names of people who have gone innactive to visit, fill out, and then return. Anyways, my comp and I spent like 2 hours today looking for this one house that didn't even exist. We did manage to contact a lot of people though, so I don't think it was a huge waste of time, although it was kind of weird because I'm not sure how he got the address he did because it doesn't exist and nobody within a two block radius had heard of this person haha.


Today was a pretty long day, because all of our plans fell through. We did have our ward council meeting in the night though, which was pretty cool. The Bishop is really trying to work with us a lot more, so I think that that's cool. We also made a list of people who would be willing to go out and work with us and at what times, so we're getting the members more involved too. Yay. Anyways, tonight I heard of some freaky story. Okay, there's a city our mission called Tacuarembo (spelling?) that's pretty small. Anyways, this 21 year old girl went missing one day, and she's a member. Anyways, tonight I found out that they had found her body. It was pretty crazy because it's a city of like 50,000, and like nothing happens in this part of the country. In the capital city of Montevideo, there's all sorts of problems but way up north where it's all rural people, there's hardly any problems. My comp even knew her and everything from when he was there, and a lot of missionaries did. It was kinda crazy, my comp couldn't believe it.


Okay, so lately we'd had a couple lessons with this one girl who I initially started teaching with Elder Squires. We found her because some crazy guy in the street that we talked to said that he knew her and that she could be interested. Anyways, turns out she's like a 15 or 16 year old girl. It's an interesting situation, teaching girls who are like 14-25. Anyways, so tonight we had our English class. We had passed by one guy who went to the first class like an hour before and he was on his computer but said he was going. Also the sister missionaries in our ward have this person who always goes. Anyways, turns out the guy we passed by said 'I got caught up in what I was doing' aka: my computer game was too intense for me to leave and do something productive, the girl from the sister's side didn't go, and the only person that went was our 16 year old investigator. It was kind of funny because like a few days ago I had told my comp 'watch her fall in love with us', to which he replied that was absurd. Anyways, so after the class (which was okay, one of the sister missionaries is a latina so she's kinda learning too), we had to go to a store to buy some stuff, which was right across the street from our house. This girl who I'm just going to call by name, Bethania, started walking home, and we said that it was possible that we caught up to her on the way, since her house is on the way to ours. Anyways, we spent like 10 minutes in this store, and then started the walk home. Turns out this girl had walked about 1 block in that time, and we caught up to her. Since we were kind of late and walk quick anyways to begin with, we were walking quite quick but told her that if she was willing to keep up, we'd go with her, which of course she did. She said some kind of 'snaky' things like how when she goes to school in the states, we could meet up (said kind of in a way like 'it'll never happen but it sounds like a good idea'), if we had girlfriends, etc. Anyways, my comp totally flipped out when we got back to the house, and I made all these terrible (not like crude, just things that didn't help the situation) jokes which I thought were hillarious and I just kept laughing, primarily at my comp's reaction and expression to what happened.


Today we planned in the morning, which I thoroughly enjoy because it's a good time to just relax, organize yourself, and then realize what you want to do for the next week. Today we had a lesson with this one guy who's really your typical stereotype for an Uruguayan. He talked a lot, primarily how his health is deteriorating, all the medicine he has to take, how he can't drink mate, etc. I kind of enjoy talking with people who seem to have a few screws loose, so I was kind of leading him on and on and my comp was just ridiculously bored haha. Also today we were supposed to have soccer but it was raining today so we didn't have it.


Today we were supposed to give service to this one returned missionary in our ward, who has since gone innactive basically. Anyways, he forgot so that kind of ate up the morning. Today, with our newly made list of people who can help us, we went out with some guy in the ward, which was pretty cool. Also, after we were done working with him, we went by another guy. While there, a member from the ward whom the bishop had sent came in and starting talking with the guy. It was really cool today because we just had a lot of ward support. Today the sister missionaries in our ward had a baptism, so we went to that to support them. I think I may have offended someone though. This one guy had signed up for our lunch calender for Sunday, althogh he knew beforehand he wasn't going to be there that day, and was going to bring us the food Sunday morning (since after that he had to leave somewhere). Also, another family during the week offered to have lunch with us on Sunday, which we agreed to since we would just put the one guys food in the fridge and eat with the family. However, I had made a new lunch calender for the month, and had put the family who offered to have us eat with them down for Sunday. I put it there mid week and since the one guy wasn't going to be at church, I didn't think it was a problem. I think I kind of screwed up and offended him because at the baptism, I'm pretty sure he saw the calender. Whooooops. Now he probably thinks that we went behind his back and went and got another lunch and didn't appreciate his offer. The truth is, there's fairly often days where we don't have lunch, and it'd be really nice to have food in our fridge. I might have some explaining to do haha.


Okay, so during the week, we had talked to these kids who were like 10-12 in the street, who we talked to and invited them to soccer. We had set up to pass by them earlier on friday, to get them before soccer. Since it was raining, we still passed by, taught a little, but didn't play. Since we hadn't talked with either of their parents (I believe they only live with their mom), we asked when she would be home, to which they replied today. We went by, and I was kind of skeptical because it's easy to teach kids and most parents don't care if we do (since we're good influences and all) but aren't really interested themselves. Anyways, we started teaching this mom and she was like super into what we had taught her kids, and totally understood the Book of Mormon and everything. It was super cool. Also, I know I've mentioned a couple named Miguel and Perla, who we've gone by quite often but they really don't have that much time. She professes to not care or want to study, and he is a pot head I'm pretty sure, but tonight we finally got to teach them, after chilling out in their house for an hour while we waited for his kids from another woman to leave, for them to finish painting, and for everyone to settle down. We ended up having a really good lesson with them as well, which was also really exciting. Tonight was also Halloween, which is slightly different down here in South America. First off, everyone parties on Saturday night, but they start at like 1:00 in the morning. So really, rather than enjoying the holiday, everyone parties, gets drunk, and stays up super late the night before (since it's technically the day of the holiday as it's past midnight), then sleeps and has a crappy holiday because they're hungover and partied the night before, and then does nothing the actual night of the holiday. Also for trick or treating there was a bunch of groups of kids (without parents) with platic baggies and occasionally costumes (most often masks) who just ran around asking people who were outside if they had 'dulces' (1 peso (5 cent) treats which are like hard candies or caramel square type things) to give them. Almost nobody did. In North America, costumes are expensive, the treats are expensive, everyone hands out candy, kids get a ton of candy, everyone trick or treats, and it's more common and organized. It's just not the same here.


Today we played soccer in the morning with the zone, which was pretty fun. Today we went to an indoor stadium, which ended up costing me like 1 dollar for 2 hours, which is super super cheap. The field was interesting though, because it had sand thinly spread out on it. And while the field still was green and everything, the little sand that they put there (I have no idea why) made it really slippery. Today it was pretty competative, and with the slippery court, it was easier to foul people. Anyways, it got pretty intense at some points and one of our zone leaders said that we're never playing soccer again. Hmmm. Afterwards, we pretty much just went right to the cyber, where I am now.

To your email:

Bowling is not popular at all down here, nor is golf which we played a few weeks ago. It's just something that we like to do since we're primarily gringos, and it's a good group activity.

There are no fast food chains in our mission other than in Montevideo, which only has Burger King and McDonalds. In the bus terminal here, there are like little stores and stuff which sell small treats (super expensive though), and it's also kind of a mall too because there are some clothing and shoe stores and stuff like that. I haven't seen people shine shoes in terminal, although I remember seeing some people in downtown Montevideo doing it.

Um, I think that's pretty much it. Sorry, I've been kind of slacking on the pictures. Don't worry, I have everything backed up in like 3 spots so you'll definitely get to see everything after the mission haha. Thanks for the email, updates, and packages haha. Have a good week,

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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